BrandArena: 35 Broadcast Stations In Nigeria Sanctioned Over Election Coverage

Wednesday 21 January 2015

35 Broadcast Stations In Nigeria Sanctioned Over Election Coverage

In ensuring equity and fairness in the coverage of the forthcoming general election in Nigeria, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has announced it sanctioned 35 broadcast stations for violation of the Nigerian broadcasting code during the 2011 general elections.

According to Mark Ojiah, Director of Spectrum Administration, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC, this development is similar to what happened in 2011 when a total of 35 broadcast stations were sanctioned. He said this while delivering a lecture entitled “2015 general elections: ensuring fairness, decency and access in broadcast media”, the lecture was in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja.

He said, “Thirty-five broadcast stations were sanctioned for various breaches including advertisement less than 24 hours to voting; undue advantage to some parties in programmes; and non-equitable airtime.”

Others offences that attracted the wrath of the regulator included negative adverts; speculation or announcement of results; and non-keeping of logs of political programmes.

In a chat with newsmen, Emeka Mbah, director general of the agency, said: “Day by day, there are minor breaches. No one in the industry will like to risk their investment in the broadcast industry. Where we tend to have issues are largely the television stations that are owned by state governments.

“We also have issues with phone in programmes and life political broadcasts. Other areas we have problems are the paid for political campaigns, where people go on soap box and say things largely because they think they have paid for such, they can say all sorts of things.

“We are not saying people cannot pay you for you to go on live broadcasting; we all need the money. The responsibility for what goes on air at the end of the day, however, rests with the broadcaster and not the politician or the party that has paid for it.”

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